Of Heaven and Earth: Reconciling Scientific Thought with LDS Theology

I joined the LDS Church about twenty-five years ago in a fairly rural part of Wales. As I was a new convert living in a remote area of the England Birmingham Mission, gaining access to authoritative Church books was as important to me as was going to church on Sunday. Such books were there to be “devoured.” In addition, as a scientist teaching at a university, I sought to correlate my scientific training and understanding with my newly acquired and burgeoning religious beliefs. When I obtained a copy of The Faith of a Scientist by Henry Eyring, father of the current Apostle Henry B. Eyring, I felt as excited as if I had discovered gold in the nearby hills. Had this new book, Of Heaven and Earth, been available then, I would have accepted and digested it eagerly. But now I am older in my Church membership and maybe a little more confident with the questions that commonly arise when science and religion are discussed. The result is that I am not quite as impressed as I probably would have been in the 1970s.

This edited text contains a remarkably heterogeneous collection of essays from a remarkably homogeneous group of authors (over half are, or have been, connected with Brigham Young University). The editor (and a contributor) is David L. Clark, a distinguished geologist at the University of Wisconsin. The other essay writers comprise six other geologists or Earth scientists, two physicists, one chemist, and one medical doctor. A more complete collection of authors might have included experts in several other scientific fields.

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